Vegetarian + Vegan Issues Eating Vegan: Answering the Chocolate Question

Published on July 2nd, 2009 | by Becky Striepe


Eating Vegan: Answering the Chocolate Question

There are tons of companies making great dark chocolate that is 100% vegan and 100% delicious! Here are some of my faves.

Eating Vegan: Answering the Chocolate Question

There are tons of companies making great dark chocolate that is 100% vegan and 100% delicious! Here are some of my faves.From the land involved to the waste produced, conventional dairy production has a huge environmental impact. Not only is conventional dairy not great for the planet, it’s not so great for you. You can do yourself and your body a favor but cutting back on or cutting out the dairy in your diet.

Whenever folks learn that I don’t eat dairy products, there are certain questions they seem to always ask. One of the most common is:

But don’t you miss chocolate?

The assumption is that chocolate has to contain milk, and that’s just not true at all. What makes chocolate….chocolate…is cocoa butter which despite its name is a plant ingredient. There are tons of companies making great dark chocolate that is 100% vegan and 100% delicious!

Finding vegan chocolate is as easy as taking the time to do a bit of label-reading. While you might not be able to just grab a Hershey bar, you don’t have to live a chocolate-free existence, either. Here are just a few tasty options:

+ Many varieties of Ghirardelli dark chocolate are vegan, including their semi-sweet chocolate chips. – Ed. note: A thoughtful reader reached out to tell me that many of Ghiradelli’s products have been reformulated and now contain milk. Definitely read the ingredients. They still offer some vegan dark chocolate, but definitely check the label before buying.

+ Dagoba makes some really tasty dark chocolate. Watch out, though. Since they were bought by Hershey’s a few years ago, I’ve noticed some milk ingredients creeping in. A little label reading is definitely in order here.

+ While it’s on the pricier side, Vosges makes amazing dark chocolate.

+ Whole Foods 365 brand makes affordable vegan dark chocolate chips.

+ Sharffen Berger makes a mean dark chocolate bar! And by mean, I mean delicious.

+ Not only are there cute critters pictured on every package, Endangered Species’ dark chocolate is 100% fair trade. Recommended: 72% dark chocolate bar with raspberries.

This is hardly a comprehensive list! With a little label reading, you’ll discover lots of other vegan chocolate options out there. Cocoa powder is usually vegan, too, which means you can add chocolate to your soy- or almond milk or to baked goods. Do you have a favorite brand of dark chocolate? I’m always looking for new sorts to try out!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by nicubunu

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

28 Responses to Eating Vegan: Answering the Chocolate Question

  1. russ says:

    Thanks! Now I know types to never buy!

    If a vegan type likes it I want nothing to do with it!

  2. Robb says:

    Vegans also like potatoes, bread and tomato sauce (among a whole list of others!), will you also avoid them Russ?

  3. Dave says:

    Thanks for the info and the environmental connection of dairy products…

    A question from someone who never liked the bitter flavour of dark chocolate – does anyone know of any dairy-free brands that taste more like “milk chocolate?”

  4. Liz says:

    Thanks! Now I know what types to buy!

    Ps. Trader Joe’s has got several varieties of dark chocolate w/o milk. They are also organic and or fair trade, if I remember correctly!

  5. Dave – I’ve seen rice milk chocolate in stores before. I think it was this brand:

  6. Antney says:

    Mmm. I love chocolate!

  7. Ashlee says:

    Thank you so much for the support and including us in your “tasty options”. (:

    Endangered Species Chocolate

  8. Jennifer says:

    Alter Eco has the absolute BEST selection of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and GMO-Free dark chocolate – and it’s USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified. You can’t get much better than that! My favorites are the Twist which contains crystallized orange peel, and the Mint – which tastes like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie but even better. I did not try these bars because I’m vegan, or even on a special diet, but they are simply the best I have ever had! Not bitter and a variety for every kind of taste buds! I will never eat another Hershey’s again!!!! You can find them at Whole Foods or visit the website for a complete list of distributors.

  9. Great list, Becky. It’s hard to beat dark chocolate — especially if it’s vegan. Thanks for putting this together.

  10. I hit up Whole Foods this evening to hunt for Alter Eco, but the one by me seems to be out! Boo. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out…the Twist bar sounds amazing!

  11. Helen says:

    Theo chocolate in Seattle has awesome vegan-friendly chocolate! They’re also fair trade and organic.

  12. Kate says:

    I had no idea there were so many vegan chocolate options! I have tried a lot of the ones you mentioned and had no idea. Good to know.

  13. John Chappell says:

    Great list Becky. I’m not vegan, but I have friends who are and now I can surprise them with a chocolate desert next time they’re over for dinner. Thanks.

  14. Sarah says:

    Rescue Chocolate is 100% vegan, down to the sugar!

    “Peanut Buter Pit Bill” is heaven on earth.

    All net proceeds go to animal rescue groups, check it out.

  15. Rose Nestor says:

    I just checked the allergens document on Ghirardelli’s website, and it indicates that their semi-sweet chocolate chips now contain dairy. I’ll double-check when I visit the grocery store today–I’m really hopeful to find some accidentally vegan brand there, as the prices for the brands sold at the health food stores are a little high for me now. (I don’t have a Whole Foods near me with its own cheaper, generic brand.)

    It seems to me from Jennifer’s unstintingly positive comment and link that she totally works for Alter-Ego.

  16. Rose – Oh no! That’s a bummer about Ghiradelli. :(

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  20. vegankitty64 says:

    the endangered species candy wrapper says its processed on equipment that also produces candy with milk in is it still vegan?? just wondering im a vegitarian im thinking about switching to being a vegan

    • That’s a good question, and one personal to many vegans. I’m OK with chocolate produced in the same factory as non-vegan chocolate, as long as the bar I’m buying doesn’t contain animal ingredients in the recipe.

      I guess it depends on your reasons for going vegan and how strict you want to be. Rather than punish Endangered Species Chocolate for being unable to afford a separate, vegan facility, I’d prefer to reward them for creating so many vegan chocolate bars, but other vegans are not OK with that. For me, it’s about voting with my wallet and supporting companies that produce vegan foods, but if your goal is to completely cut out any trace of animal products, you’d want to avoid chocolate with that kind of labeling.

      I hope this helps! I almost feel like it raises more questions than it answers!

  21. vegankitty64 says:

    it does kinda i mean my mom wont let me become a vegan until i leave the house cuz im already a pain with being a vegetarian i guess im ok as long as its just you know if the sugar is processed with bone char or not..its kind of a stupid question but i just want to be thuro

  22. vegankitty64 says:

    oops lolz just read the label again it says beet dislexic..if you cant tell from my spelling sorry

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